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Best Adult Birthday Party Food Ideas

Fun adult birthday party food can make or break the event. But you know that it is essential for your friend or family member’s special day. 

A great way to ensure a happy birthday for the special person is to invite his or her closest friends and have a selection of yummy treats. If it’s a dinner party, choose something special that you know the guest of honor will like.

Whether it’s a dinner party or simply snacks and appetizers, you’ll want finger foods, something savory to dip, and sweets.

adults at a birthday party over birthday cupcakes with lit candles

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of putting together a birthday bash for someone special. Add the person’s favorite people to the guest list, fill a table with some good food, and plan a few ice breakers and party games.

Whether this is a surprise party or the birthday person is in on it, you can make it a special event for important milestones in life. Adult birthday parties are all about the guest of honor, so turn all of the focus on them.

If you’re not sure what types of foods to serve, there are several things to consider. Is this a dinner party? Are you celebrating a special year, such as becoming an adult, going “over the hill,” or any year ending in a zero?

Enlist the help of the person’s family members. Or if you’re throwing a party for a family member, ask the person’s closest friend to help and offer some helpful tips.

Birthday Bash Party Food Ideas

There are many different delicious foods perfect for any celebration. Having a wide selection is good because people can choose what they like.

If you have room for everyone to sit down, you may want to throw a dinner party. Or if you don’t, an easy way to host a special event is to fill a table with appetizers and snacks and then let people mix and mingle as they munch.

Dinner Party Ideas

Mississippi pot roast – Serve it with rice, potatoes, or noodles and a side salad for a deliciously satisfying meal.

Shredded meat on mashed potatoes with a side of green beans

Crispy chicken thighs – You can actually use chicken breast or any other part of the chicken with skin on and bone in. Thighs are always a favorite around here. Add a vegetable and potato, and everyone will be happy.

chicken thighs in an air fryer

Mock Swiss steak – The combination of flavors in this easy meal will have everyone begging for your recipe. 

bite of mock swiss steak

Appetizer and Snack Ideas

Bacon wrapped jalapeños – Add a spicy kick to your appetizer table with these delicious treats.

bacon wrapped jalapenos

Crispy air-fried chickpeas – They’re yummy and addictive. No one has to know they’re also good for you. They’re the perfect finger food.

air fried chickpeas

Easy homemade salsa – Surround a bowl of this salsa with some crispy chips, and you’ll have a huge hit.

salsa with chips

Easy deviled eggs – Add these deviled eggs to the snack table, and your party will rise to a whole new level. 

plate of deviled eggs

Spinach dip – Serve this dip with a variety of breads and crackers, and you’ll have a real crowd pleaser.

spinach dip with crackers

Marinated mushrooms – These are delicious additions to other dishes, but they’re also good all by themselves.

Chocolate peanut butter moose munch – This is another example of a variety of flavors coming together in a delightful way. You’d better make twice as much of this party snack as you think you’ll need because it will disappear quickly.

Food for Mexican Themed Birthday Party

If you choose a Mexican theme, here are some delicious options:

3-Layer Mexican Dip – Serve this easy but impressive appetizer and popular party food with chips and vegetables. Set it out at the very beginning so guests can enjoy a snack while they socialize.

Tex Mex Salad – This spicy but easy-to-make dish will satisfy anyone’s cravings for south-of-the-border food.

Taco Bell Baja Sauce – Anyone who enjoys the Baja sauce from Taco Bell will love this copycat recipe.

bowl of baja sauce beside a plate of tacos

Chicken Taco Soup – Make this yummy soup in your Instant Pot for a quick and easy dish.

Ro-Tel Chili – You don’t have to tell a soul that this easy recipe only has 3 ingredients. You can use your slow cooker, pressure cooker, or big pot on the stovetop. Offer sour cream, cream cheese, and chopped fresh cilantro to make it even more special.

Tex Mex Ranch Potatoes – This flavorful casserole side dish goes with any type of meat, from pork or ground beef to chicken or fish.

tex mex ranch potatoes on a plate

Taco Bar – Set out a bunch of foods that are perfect for filling taco shells. Don’t forget to include both soft and crunchy shells.

If you choose a Mexican theme, decorate in bright red, turquoise, and anything shiny. Invite guests to wear colorful attire to reflect the theme.

Italian Themed Party Food

Here are some great foods to include if you choose to have an Italian theme:

Italian casserole – This Italian chicken zucchini casserole is a huge hit, and it’s very easy to make.

Italian chicken zucchini casserole

Crock Pot lasagna – Toss everything into your slow cooker and let it cook dinner while you put the finishing touches on the rest of the party.

crock pot lasagna

Mini pizzas with a variety of toppings – You can buy them ready made or make them yourself. A couple of options I’ve served are these delicious pizza pretzel bites and these fun Tater Tot pizzas.

Pasta bar in a variety of shapes – Offer a variety of sauces, including this marinara sauce and this creamy but low-fat Alfredo sauce.

Refreshing salads – Don’t forget a variety of salad dressings.

Bread and butter or olive oil – Dinner rolls, Italian bread, and cloud bread for anyone who needs to be gluten-free are great options.

pan of cloud bread

If you have time, make this delicious bruschetta from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage. It’s absolutely delicious!

Parmesan cheese – Guests may want to add more cheesy flavor to any of their Italian dishes.

Potato Bar

Bake a bunch of potatoes and offer a variety of trimmings and toppings for a potato bar. Of course you’ll want to offer some of the standards, such as butter, sour cream, and chives.

But get creative and offer other things, such as chili con carne, shredded meat, chopped chicken, and small shrimp.

bowl of chili con carne

Offer a variety of dressings as well, such as this creamy ranch dressing or this retro style thousand island dressing.

Special Birthday Dessert

One of the most important things to serve at a birthday party is a birthday cake or cupcakes. If you have a variety of people coming to the party, you might consider having a main cake with several smaller cakes to accommodate different tastes.

If you serve cake, don’t forget the ice cream. You can buy a carton of it from the store, or you can make this yummy (and oh-so easy) no-churn mint chocolate chip ice cream

This strawberry ice cream is also easy to make and tastes great on chocolate, white, or yellow cake.

The birthday person might prefer pie instead of cake. This lemon meringue pie is a personal favorite. Another delicious and festive pie is this no-bake cherry lime pie.

Salad Bar

If the birthday celebration is during a warm time of year, consider throwing a salad bar party. Here are some foods to include at a salad bar:

  • Chopped lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Coleslaw
  • Fresh broccoli florets
  • Chickpeas
  • Red beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Chopped yellow or red onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Sliced summer squash and zucchini
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Hot peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Fresh fruit
  • Sunflower seeds and sliced nuts
  • Shredded cheese
  • Variety of salad dressings
  • Breads, crackers, and chips

Wine and Cheese Party

Fill a charcuterie board with a variety of cheeses, cheese spreads, crackers, and bite-size fruit. Make sure you have several types of wine as well as something nonalcoholic available for your guests. Ginger ale is usually a safe bet. 

If you have a lot of party guests, you’ll want to have more than one charcuterie board. Place the filled charcuterie boards around the room so guests will mix and mingle. Make sure you have plenty of napkins, paper plates, and coasters.

Creative Party Themes

Of course, it’s always a good idea to plan your food around whatever theme you choose for your party. For example, if you have a movie night theme, serve something that relates to the movie.

You can have a luau with a delicious fruit salad, teriyaki chicken on skewers, and a large bowl of the guest of honor’s favorite drink. Present the guests with leis and play Hawaiian music in the background.

Famous person parties are always fun. Have the guests come dressed as their favorite people—either movie celebrities, singers, cartoon characters, or even authors. Ask each guest to bring a food that relates to their party persona.

Throw a game party. If you have extra time and space, set up board games and card games around the room. Invite everyone to choose a seat with people they don’t know. This is a great ice breaker so guests can get to know each other.

party balloons above young woman blowing out candles on her birthday cake

Most Important Element of an Adult Birthday Party

Don’t forget to have fun. The best way to do this is to participate in the events and partake of the treats you’ve lovingly prepared. You’re hosting a birthday party for someone you care about, so enjoy the process. 

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